What first looked like a block party in Louisiana quickly became a trade that has sent Jrue Holiday and the 2013 No. 42 pick to the New Orleans Pelicans for a 2014 first-round pick and No. 6 pick Nerlens Noel, who will be the newest addition to the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Pelicans used the sixth overall pick to select Kentucky product Noel, who fell due to a rehabbing ACL tear in his left knee. Shortly after the pick, though, it was reported that Noel would be shipped to the 76ers for Holiday, who should immediately fill in as the Pelicans’ starting point guard.
The move makes plenty of sense for the Pelicans, who already have block-artist Anthony Davis to hold down the center position. If they were to have held on to Noel, New Orleans would have been forced to waste his talents on the bench while he served in a backup role. Meanwhile, Noel should allow the 76ers to move on from Andrew Bynum, who was a complete waste this past season.
The problem, however, is that the Pelicans already have an intriguing point guard in Greivis Vasquez, who played well for New Orleans throughout the 2012-2013 campaign. Although it’s highly unlikely that Vasquez will hold off Holiday for the starting gig, he should pick up plenty of minutes in a combo guard role.
There’s also a chance that the Pelicans could move Vasquez to a team looking for help at point guard.
In terms of value, the Pelicans pulled off a great move with the drafting and eventual trading of Noel. They got an upper-echelon point guard in Holiday while adding a second-round pick to the mix. Not bad for a team looking to create a new identity as they head into a new era of New Orleans basketball.